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On Medici's Tracks

Medicean residences: a tour of the Mugello's Lords places

The powerful Medici loved Mugello, and left a great number of signs of their passage, such as wonderful villas. Also the landscape bears their mark in the rational organization of cultivations, in woods geometrical disposition, in water canalization. Their taste is visible in the buildings, in the proportion of farmhouses, villas and pievi and in the armonic distribution of the installations.

We suggest you a tour from Florence through the most important medicean places in Mugello.

The park of Villa Demidoff

The park of Villa Demidoff at Vaglia, Mugello

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Leaving from Florence, along via Bolognese, the first stop will be Villa Demidoff's Park in Pratolino: the villa belonged to Medici and was renovated by Buontalenti. Unfortunately it has been demolished by the Lorena, but in the wonderful park there are numerous interesting monuments, among them the most important is without any doubt the fountain-statue Appennino.

From here, continuing toward north along via Bolognese, you will arrive in San Piero a Sieve and then in Scarperia, where it is possible to visit Palazzo dei Vicari, built in the 14th century after town foundation by the Florentine Republic.

Come back in San Piero a Sieve: here you can admire the impressive Fortress of San Martino, wanted by Medici at the end of the 15th century and finished at the beginning of the 16th century. Take a walk along the walls, and visit this Fortress, which has been a little city for centuries.

Continue following the indications for Barberino di Mugello or take the Highway A1: you will find indications for Castle of Trebbio, it can be reached only through a steep country street. From the castle, built on the rests of a feudal tower on a hilltop, you can enjoy an amazing view of the entire valley.

The Castle/Villa of Cafaggiolo

Cafaggiolo Castle, Barberino di Mugello

Photo credits

Take again the road leading to the Highway A1: it is impossible not to notice the park and villa along the road. This is Villa Cafaggiolo, one of Lorenzo the Magnificent favourite residences, used as entertainment place for his parties.

The last stop of this tour is the Monastery Bosco ai Frati: go toward the highway ad follow the indications for Galliano, you will find signals for this medicean monastery. It is one of the oldest monastery of the area, it was founded by the Ubaldini before the year 1000. Then it was rebuilt by Cosimo I de' Medici. The family left many precious gifts to this monastery, such as the wooden cross attributed to Donatello.

These are the opening hours of the proposed destinations:

VILLA DEMIDOFF:

  • March: holidays 10.00-18.00
  • April: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and holidays 10.00-20.00
  • May-June-July: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and holidays 10.00-20.30
  • August-September: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and holidays 10.00-20.00
  • October: holidays 10.00-19.00

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PALAZZO DEI VICARI:

  • Winter (15th September- 1st June) Saturday-Sunday and holidays 10-13/15-18.30
  • Summer (1st June-15th September) Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 15.30-19.30 Saturday–Sunday and holidays 10-13/15.30-19.30.

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FORTRESS OF SAN MARTINO:

At the moment it is in renovation. A suggestion: walk along the walls!

CASTLE OF TREBBIO:

Guided tours only in the morning from Monday to Friday.

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VILLA CAFAGGIOLO:

From 15th April to 15th October

  • Wednesday 14,30-18,30
  • Friday 14,30-18,30
  • Saturday 10-12,30 14,30-18,30
  • Sunday and holidays 10-12,30 14,30-18,30

From 16th October to 14th April

  • Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10-12,30 14,30-18,30

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MONASTERY BOSCO AI FRATI:

Open every days

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Mugello: the green rolling hills surrounding Florence offer many resources not only for nature lovers, but also for people who love sport, shopping and engines. All this in a single and beautiful land.